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Author Topic: Mach3 freezes constantly_little to no support from.....support.  (Read 185 times)

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I'll try to keep it concise and short.  Im doing basic plasma cutting on Crossfire table with Razorweld plasma cut 45, Running Windows 10 on Intel i3 chip_most background programs shut off.  Computer is basically new and not used for anything else..the best and only advice from support about Mach3 freezing in middle of project is making sure no cables and wires are crossing one another...Check!
I have had a couple projects cut all the way through but overall Im wasting steel..Last two times it froze just a few lines of code in.
I have also tried windows on my Mac (thinking it may be processor power) and usb was recognized but upon trying to jog steppers, when hitting "reset" button, it said "warning, ⚠️ something about x,y axis speed is too fast for Kernal speed." I couldn't find anything online about where to make adjustments within Mach3 and "support" said my serial key needs to be moved from pc to Mac...already did and seems to have nothing to do w my issue.
Someone please help or I will have to Sell all this stuff...Ive spent countless hours, days, weeks with this glitchy thing and about to give up...Thannnnks
-Adam
Re: Mach3 freezes constantly_little to no support from.....support.
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2019, 10:38:46 PM »
Hi,
I have a dual core Atom mini-ITX board with on chip graphics to run my machine. It ran two parallel ports on Mach3
and then I went to an Ethernet SmoothStepper (ESS) on Mach4. The little (read damned whimpy!!!) PC has worked a treat.
I believe that your PC is more that adequate for Mach, its certainly several more times powerful that my machine PC.

Plasmas a ABSOLUTELY RENOWNED for producing electrical noise. Your description sounds like a noise issue.

Can  I ask a few questions and try to establish some parameters of the problem.
1) What controller are you using? Your description sounds like you are using a parallel port but that is totally in consistent
   with Windows 10. If that is the case then you must be using an external motion controller. If that controller is USB connected then
   you can expect noise issues and the problems you have described. An Ethernet connected motion controller is preferred.
  Make and model of the controller please?
2) What plasma machine are you using? HF start machines are just about impossible to tame. A pneumatic contact break start
    machine invented and popularized by Hypertherm is much much better. Make and model please?

There is an experiment that I want you to try. Set the machine running but with the plasma machine off, ie just above the material
but no arc. Does Mach complete the task? If so it rather suggests that the plasma is indeed producing electrical noise sufficient
to de-rail Mach.

Curing noise issues with a plasma table is likely to be a long winded affair. It is probable that more than one solution is reqired.
For instance if you replace a USB controller for an (non Chinese) Ethernet controller you may achieve a 60% gain in performance
but you need to combine other things like earthing, shielding, signal decoupling and line filtering to get to an acceptable solution.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach3 freezes constantly_little to no support from.....support.
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2019, 10:51:07 PM »
Hi,
just re-reading your post and see that you have already provided the make and model of your plasma.

I worked for seven years for a company that sold and serviced welding equipment. I worked in servicing and my training is
in electronics. That plasma is an HF start, the Trafimet torch determines that. That means you are going to have a battle trying
to get electrical noise from stuffing up Mach.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach3 freezes constantly_little to no support from.....support.
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2019, 11:06:36 PM »
Hi,
I have just been reading the NZ site for the Razorweld and it suggests  that the start is not HF but rather pneumatic
contact break start. Please dis-regard my last post, it may be inaccurate.

If memory serves Trafimet did have some contact break start torches, this may be an example of such.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach3 freezes constantly_little to no support from.....support.
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2019, 12:14:52 AM »
Razorweld cut 45 cutter, 99% sure model is TRF-45-6-CC1
Motion controller is whatever came with the Langmuir Crossfire...yes external USB..I could open up the box to see if an actual manufacture name is on the board if needed.
And yes it seems every time I do a "dry run" with plasma cutter off it makes it through the whole cut file. Is there possibly a way to add heavy shielding to the plasma cables or computer cables??
And are you suggesting I go a different route for controller cable like ethernet which would require me to change electronics?
I would even consider the Hypertherm pneumatic if its a fix....I thought I was getting a matched system that was proven to work when Langmuir suggested the Razorweld cut 45.
Thank you for the extensive answers and suggestions...you've given me hope that I just may be able to keep using it.
Re: Mach3 freezes constantly_little to no support from.....support.
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2019, 01:08:34 AM »
Hi,
I would guess, and it is only a guess, that the USB controller is Chinese. If it seems like I bash Chinese made controllers....
its because I do! They have earned all the bad press I give them.

Yes I would recommend an Ethernet connected controller and my suggestion would be an Ethernet SmoothStepper (ESS)
by Warp9. For Mach3 it is certainly not the only good (US or European made) controller, but it is what is familiar to me.

The ESS requires a breakout board, so one C10 ($23.00) or if you want/need more IO then a second one.
Without seeing inside the box we can't know whether the stepper drives are integrated onto on board, if I had to guess I
would say not. That being the case an ESS, a C10 and you can hook to your existing stepper drivers.

A Hypertherm 45 is probably a long term goal, Hypertherm is very good, probably the best on the market but they aren't cheap.
If the Razorweld is punematic contact break start as now seems likely then it should work OK, especially if it is recommended
by the table manufacturer. With any sort of luck by the time you blow the Razorweld up....and you will eventually.....you'll
have a swag of dough in the bank to buy a Hypertherm.

The first step is to get an Ethernet connected controller underway. I would guess that 50% of your problems will be solved right
there.

As for shielding and other measures....get set for the long haul....probably all of them will be required.

The first thing is to physically separate the cables associated with the plasma from any of the machine and signal wiring.
Where they cross they should be at right angles.

The second area that is often overlooked and therefore untold effort expended in other means to overcome is conducted noise.
The plasma being an inverter is a noisy device and draws non-sinusoidal current from the 230VAC supply. That non-sinusoidal
current can be many (10-30A) amps and that can be impressed on the 230VAC input to your PC and machine/controller
power supplies. One or several good AC line filters are in order four your PC and machine power supplies.

You could use a line reactor to tame the input current to the plasma but that is a fairly extreme step. I would save that for
'I'll only do it if I have to....later down the track' A line filter big enough to handle the plasma input current is likely to be
very expensive and that makes a line reactor more cost effective....should you need to.

You might try as an experiment to get your 230VAC for your plasma from a different and preferably remote socket from which
you get the 230VAC for your PC/machine. If it helps the line filters are strongly indicated.

https://nz.element14.com/schaffner/fn2090-6-06/filter-1-ph-6a-chassis-mount/dp/1304858?st=line filter

Note I got that off the NZ website, depending on where you are Premier Farnell and/or Newark will have the same listing
in the local currency.

The next area you should look to is shielding signal cables, particularly cables such as limit and home switches. Their long length
makes then susceptible. They should be screened with all the screens earthed at one end only, usually the controller end with all
going to a single 'star point'. It is also good practice to fit ferrite cores, either by passing the cable through the core several times
or by using split cores. Two ferrites per cable, breaking the cable into approximately three equal sections has proven to work
for other installations.

https://nz.element14.com/fair-rite/2643804502/solid-round-emi-suppression-core/dp/1133951?st=EMI ferrites
https://nz.element14.com/fair-rite/0446164181/ferrite-core-split-12-7mm-205ohm/dp/1781360

You should have several ferrites on the Ethernet  cable and even more importantly on any USB cable.

If you go with an ESS you will have the chance to add some de-bounce, effectively a digital input filter to all your incoming
signal lines. It is sometimes beneficial to have some 0.1nF ceramic capacitors on the inputs on your breakout board as well.

Quite a few installations have a separate earth stake just for the table. An electrical earth stake, or even more than one, if the
local earth impedance is high, are driven into the ground and connected to machine about where the torch sits.
Given that in New Zealand increasingly all circuits are protected by Residual Current Devices I am not  enamored with the idea
of another earth stake in competition with the main electrical system, however so many people do it, so there must be some
benefit.

That's enough to start with.

Craig.
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

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Re: Mach3 freezes constantly_little to no support from.....support.
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2019, 03:17:34 AM »
Hi had a quick look to the Langmuir Homepage.
Looks like you have ordered bündle (table + cutter) from them.
they are still selling this combination.

have you talked to them, about this Problem ?
i am pretty sure ist is a earth/grounding Problem, because if it is a Controller Problem,
they would not sell this combination any more.

basicly USB and Plasma cutting is not the best combination, Ethernet would be better,
but if the layout/wiring/groundig is ok, you should get it to work.
anything is possible, just try it.
if you find some mistakes, in my bad bavarian english,they are yours.